North Carolina Ports and CSX will commence a daily, intermodal rail service between Wilmington and Charlotte. This double-stacked train, dubbed the Queen City Express, will begin service on July 28, 2017.
“The Queen City Express provides premier rail service over competing ports for existing and future container customers in one of the most significant economic centers in the Southeastern United States,” said Executive Director, Paul J. Cozza. “In addition, further establishing our inland terminal helps answer the request of many cargo owners asking for improved connectivity to international markets.”
North Carolina Ports says the service will be one of the fastest and most direct rail services into and out of the Greater Charlotte region from a port in the U.S. Southeast. North Carolina Ports will offer containers at its Charlotte Intermodal Terminal (CIT) for the rail service. North Carolina Ports says the train will also provide connectivity for each and every container service currently calling on the Port of Wilmington.
“This service, dovetailed with the investment that CSX is making in Rocky Mount, is a testament to our dedication to the State of North Carolina and North Carolina Ports,” said Dean Piacente, vice president of CSX Intermodal. “In addition to the connection to Charlotte, CSX will also provide future access to a transformational, state-of-the-art intermodal rail terminal in Eastern North Carolina – the Carolina Connector.”
North Carolina Ports says the Carolina Connector (CCX), which was announced last summer in Rocky Mount, N.C., will serve as a key transportation hub in the Southeast for containerized freight. The company says CCX along with the Queen City Express will lower transportation costs for businesses while taking trucks off the road. North Carolina Ports says that one intermodal train can take as many as 280 trucks off the road.
In addition to the Queen City Express, North Carolina Ports has recently announced the activation of four new container services. To prepare for this growth, North Carolina Ports has ordered new Panamax ship-to-shore cranes from designer Shanghai Zhenjua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. Between the new cranes, turning basin expansion project, various berth improvements, and the expansion of the container yard, North Carolina Ports says it will pump over $150 million into its infrastructure over the next few years.